FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Airlines' newly acquired Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with a seating capacity of 400 passengers, arrives at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

NAIROBI – Ethiopia has overtaken Dubai as having the most long-haul passengers to Africa, highlighting the success of the state airline’s expansion drive and the reforms of its new prime minister.

Travel consultancy ForwardKeys confirmed on Wednesday that Addis Ababa airport had increased the number of international transfer passengers to sub-Saharan Africa for five years in a row, and this year they surpassed Dubai, one of the world’s busiest airports, as the transfer hub for long-haul travel to the region.

The travel consultancy, analysed the data from travel booking system, it recorded that 17 million flight bookings a day, and they also found that a number of long-haul transfers to sub-Saharan Africa via Addis Ababa increased by a massive 85% from 2013 to 2017.

Transfers via Dubai over the same period rose by 31%.

In 2018, Addis Ababa’s growth was around 18%, versus 3% for Dubai.

Ethiopian Airlines, the country’s most successful state company, has increased the goals of their 15-year strategy, which was launched in 2010 to win back market share on routes to and from Africa that are dominated by Turkish Airlines and Emirates.

And the rise of travel via Addis Ababa is predicated to continue. International bookings via Ethiopia have increased by 40% year-on-year for November to January 2019, ahead of all other destinations in Africa, ForwardKeys added.

Photo credit- SABC News

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